‘Remain vigilant’: Foreign ministry’s advisory to Indians in Canada amid spike in hate crimes

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India on Friday issued an advisory, asking its nationals in Canada to ‘exercise due caution and remain vigilant’ amid a spike in hate crimes, sectarian violence and anti-India activities. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Indian missions in Canada have taken up these incidents with the Canadian authorities and requested them to probe these crimes.

“In view of the increasing incidences of crimes as described above, Indian nationals and students from India in Canada and those proceeding to Canada for travel/education are advised to exercise due caution and remain vigilant,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.

Advisory for Indian Nationals and Students from India in Canadahttps://t.co/dOrqyY7FgN pic.twitter.com/M0TDfTgvrG

— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) September 23, 2022

The advisory from the foreign ministry comes at a time when a row has erupted between India and Canada over the recent holding of a so-called referendum by ‘pro-Khalistan’ elements on creating an independent homeland for Sikhs. India termed the so-called Khalistan referendum conducted by separatist groups as a ‘farcical exercise’.

“We would term it as farcical exercise. A farcical exercise was held by extremists and radical elements supporting the so-called Khalistan referendum in Canada,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said. He said India has taken up the issue with Canadian authorities and they reiterated respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India.

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“There has been a sharp increase in incidents of hate crimes, sectarian violence and anti-India activities in Canada,” the advisory for Indian nationals and students in Canada stated.

“In view of the increasing incidences of crimes as described above, Indian nationals and students from India in Canada and those proceeding to Canada for travel/education are advised to exercise due caution and remain vigilant,” it said.

“Indian nationals and students from India in Canada may also register with the High Commission of India in Ottawa or Consulates General of India in Toronto and Vancouver through their respective websites, or the MADAD portal madad.gov.in,” the advisory read.

Earlier this month, a prominent Hindu temple was defaced by ‘Canadian Khalistani extremists’ with anti-India graffiti in Canada. The Indian high commission strongly condemned the incident and requested Canadian authorities to investigate the matter and take prompt action against the perpetrators.

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